Random Writing Quote:

“What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.”

--Carl Sagan

Dean Nelson

Speaker: Dean Nelson

Date: September 19, 2015

"What the Greats Have Taught Me"

Dean Nelson is the founder and director of the journalism program at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego. He writes occasionally for the New York Times, the Boston Globe, Christianity Today, Sojourners, and several other national publications. He has won several awards from the Society of Professional Journalists for his reporting, and has written or co-written 14 books. Nelson is a frequent speaker at writing workshops around the world.

He has traveled throughout the world covering stories of human interest — India, where he wrote about the slums of Bombay; Kosovo, where he interviewed and wrote about victims of terrorism; Africa, where he wrote about members of the Black Panther Party who live in exile in Tanzania; Tibet, where he wrote about religious persecution; Central America, where he wrote about poverty and contaminated water; New Orleans, where he wrote about the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; Haiti, where he wrote about the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, and elsewhere.

His book on the seven sacraments, God Hides in Plain Sight: How to Find the Sacred in a Chaotic World, was published by Brazos Press in September, 2009.

His most recent book is Quantum Leap: How John Polkinghorne Found God in Science and Religion, published in 2011 by Lion-Hudson Press of Oxford, England. The book is about the life of John Polkinghorne, a world-famous physicist who became a priest in the Anglican Church. It is also about how faith and science do not need to be mutually exclusive.

In addition to directing the PLNU journalism program, Nelson also hosts the annual Writer’s Symposium By The Sea, where prominent writers come to discuss the craft of writing. Nelson has interviewed Amy Tan, Anne Lamott, Gay Talese, Anchee Min, Ray Bradbury, George Plimpton, Otis Chandler, Kathleen Norris, Donald Miller, Bill Moyers, Jim Wallis, Chitra Divakaruni, Joseph Wambaugh, James Fallows, Barbara Brown Taylor, Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancey, Michael Eric Dyson, Bill McKibben, Chris Hedges, Rachel Held Evans, Garrison Keillor, Luis Urrea, Joyce Carol Oates and dozens of others. Many of those interviews are viewable on the interviews tab of this site and on UCSD-TV’s website. They have been broadcast worldwide.

Nelson came to San Diego from Minneapolis, where he was working as a business writer.

He has a Ph.D. in journalism from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri at Columbia, and a bachelor’s degree in literature from MidAmerica Nazarene University in Kansas City.

He grew up in Minnesota, is a die-hard hockey player and fan, is married to his college sweetheart, Marcia, and has two adult children, Blake and Vanessa.

Upcoming speaker for October 17, 2015:

Christopher Reich

Speaker: Christopher Reich

"Making a Living as a Novelist"

Christopher Reich is the NY Times best-selling author of 10 thrillers. A former investment banker in Geneva, he got the inspiration for his first novel, Numbered Account.

From Chris - I'll be covering a wide variety of topics when we meet in October.  The theme will be "Making a living as a novelist."  I look forward to discussing the state of the publishing industry, what books are selling and what books aren't, how to find an agent, sell a book, and what happens once you get a publisher.  On a more personal level, I'll share stories about my own career: the good, the bad, and the ugly!  (Though I think that's actually a movie!!)  Anyway, I promise we'll have a lively encounter with plenty of laughs! 


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